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[ham-er-hed] /ˈhæm ərˌhɛd/
the part of a hammer designed for striking.
a shark of the genus Sphyrna, especially S. zygaena, having the head expanded laterally so as to resemble a double-headed hammer, sometimes dangerous to swimmers.
Also called hammerkop
[ham-er-kop] /ˈhæm ərˌkɒp/ (Show IPA)
. a brown heronlike African bird, Scopus umbretta, having the head so crested as to resemble a claw hammer.
Slang. blockhead; dunce; lout.
Origin of hammerhead
1525-35; hammer + head
Related forms
hammerheaded, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hammerhead
  • Scalloped hammerhead sharks, also on the globally endangered species list, also live in the waters.
  • Get up close and personal with sea turtles, fish, rays and hammerhead sharks.
  • Excepting the rare sighting of a hammerhead or reef shark, it is virtually devoid of sea life.
  • With lethargic grace, the hammerhead shark slices through the blue gloom.
  • hammerhead sharks are consummate predators that use their oddly shaped heads to improve their ability to find prey.
  • If the idea proves to be valid, it could provide a big piece of the puzzle in the mystery of hammerhead shark migration.
  • The hammerhead shark uses its head to pin down prey, or food, while eating.
  • Thousands of variations on the theme exist-think of hammerhead sharks, of anteaters, of toucans.
British Dictionary definitions for hammerhead


any shark of the genus Sphyrna and family Sphyrnidae, having a flattened hammer-shaped head
a heavily built tropical African wading bird, Scopus umbretta, related to the herons, having a dark plumage and a long backward-pointing crest: family Scopidae, order Ciconiiformes
a large African fruit bat, Hypsignathus monstrosus, with a large square head and hammer-shaped muzzle
Derived Forms
hammerheaded, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hammerhead

type of shark, 1843, from hammer (n.) + head (n.). So called for its broad, transverse head.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hammerhead



A stupid person: The best way out is for one of the three to be a hammerhead (1930s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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